Norwegian Dawn, Boston to Quebec City Oct 5-12: Norwegian Dawn Cruise Review by Grammyceej

Norwegian Dawn 5
Member Since 2011
260 Forum Posts

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Norwegian Dawn, Boston to Quebec City Oct 5-12

Sail Date: October 2012
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: Boston
We found this to be the most fun and enjoyable cruises we've done to date. Upon reading other reviews posted after this cruise makes me feel like I was on a totally different cruise. I think much of it is that it is what you make it. you can sit around and mop about the things you don't like or you can turn it around and find things you do like to over ride the negatives.

We flew in on the red eye the morning of the cruise and lingered around the airport having breakfast and a change of clothing before getting a cab to the port. Upon arriving at the port it was extremely busy as the previous cruisers were still coming off the ship. We only had to wait a short time for the porter to come and take our baggage and we were directed up a flight of stairs. At the top of the stairs we found check in. We were among the first to arrive therefore did not have a wait at all. After checking in we were taken to a lounge area for suite guests. We have never booked a suite before so More really didn't know what to expect. The spoiling began here. By noon they were ready to start boarding and we were in the first group to be taken to their suites.

We were thrilled when we saw the size of our suite. It was a large room with a walk through closest and a big bathroom with tub and stand alone shower and two sinks. In the suite we had our sleeping area, a living room area and a dining area. The decor was quite nice and those wall to wall floor to ceiling windows were awesome. We opted not to get a balcony suite as we knew being on the Atlantic in New England/Canada in October we wouldn't be using it. Our only complaint about this suite at any point was the fact it was a bit chilly. We had the thermostat as high into the red as it would go and it was still cold. I contribute that in part at least to the outdoor temperatures and all of those windows.

We began our adventure with lunch at Cagney's. Unlike others we found the service to be wonderful, our food arrived in a timely manner and the taste of everything we tried there was divine. We ate breakfast there every day and had lunch there on 3 occasions. The lobster benedict is a must try!! For lunch be sure to order the shrimp cocktail and the steak at least once. At dinner time we mostly ate either in the Venetian or the Aqua dining room. Our first night we opted for the Venetian for the lobster. We had a reservation and still had to wait about 20 minutes. Of course we were not surprised with the wait on lobster night. At this point we were unaware they have share tables and were not offered one. It seemed a shame that people were being told 90 minute wait while we had a table all to ourselves. The longest wait we had after the first night was maybe 10 minutes. We were offered a share table on the second night, in the Aqua room, so after that we made the offer ourselves and did have shared tables twice. So if traveling just the two of you and you don't mine sharing be sure and let the hostess know this, it could get you a seat quicker.

As for the food, everything we had at Cagney's, Venetian and Aqua was all excellent with a good variety of options. We were somewhat disappointed with the Garden Cafe as the choices didn't seem to change much from day to day, so we opted to eat elsewhere most of the time. We did enjoy an evening at Teppenaki with very good food and wonderful entertainment from our chef. We found it to be worth the $25 per person we paid for it.

We did not attend many of the shows in the Stardust Theatre due to the seating. It was by far the most uncomfortable seating I've experienced in a theatre, be it on a ship or on land. When they did the refurbishment they should have included the theatre and made it more comfortable for their guests. What shows we did attend were very well done. Most late evenings we attended the activities in the Spinnaker Lounge, including Dancing with the Stars and the White Hot Party. Both of these were all kinds of fun.

The Dawn activities crew offered a lot of fun activities to help pass your time, trivia, shuffleboard, mile walk, etc. We had fun with all of those we attended but I must say our most fun was when we played shuffleboard. These activities you collect signatures from the crew and use those at the end to get Norwegian merchandise. We had enough to get a t-shirt. Nothing big but was still something free and we had fun earning it.

We found no language barriers between us and the any of the crew even though it seemed the majority of them are Filipino. We found the ship to be clean and in good repair.

Our butler was great, our room steward was fantastic, and our concierge was superb.

Our biggest complaint had nothing to do with NCL at all. It came at debarkment. We were among the early groups to arrive at the loading area for taxis but the problem was, there were NO taxis. After a 20-30 minute wait the first taxi arrived. They then came one at a time every few minutes. Altho we were maybe 20th in line we still had a wait of over an hour. This really is unacceptable at a debarkment port. Shame on the port officials for not being better prepared. The dock in Boston had hundreds of cabs at it when we arrived at it.

We can't wait to return to the Dawn Oct 18, 2013 when we sail with her to Bermuda!!! Less

Published 10/28/12

Cabin review: SJ12516 Family Suite

Our cabin was in a super location, we did not hear many people in the hallway, we were near the elevators but far enough away we could not hear them. Being on the 12th deck we were not hearing the anchors drop or any of the engine noises. We had a wonderful view with floor to ceiling wall to wall windows. There was plenty of closet space with a walk through closet. The bathroom was great with both a tub and stand alone shower and two sinks. Our only complain about the room was temperature of it. It was often chilly although we had the thermostat as high as it would go.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We again joined with others cruises from the Cruise Critic roll call to do a private van tour of PEI. Here we toured with Duncan of Duncan Tours. Another 5 star tour guide! We saw many of the sites of Charlottetown, before heading out of town to the area of Anne of Green Gables and Cavendish. We saw some magnificent scenery along the way. Prince Edward Island is nothing short of gorgeous!! With their laws against bill boards and the pristine condition of the land, it is beautiful!! Another educational tour with wonderful sites. Duncan is top notch!!!! After our tour we ate at Lobsters on the Wharf where we had in my opinion the best lobster of the entire trip. Pricier than from the wholesaler but not as pricey as that in Portland.

City Tour

This was a private van tour that we shared with other members from Cruise Critic roll call for this cruise. It was very well priced when being shared with others. Our guide, David was excellant!!! Doing a private tour you get to go places the buses can't. It was obvious that David does his research to know exactly what he's talking about. We had a stop at the Acadia Maple Store. Heaven! Great prices compared to what we pay here in BC for maple syrup. When we were there David asked each of us what size lobster we wanted then phoned ahead to have it ready when we arrived at the wholesaler. They had lobsters ranging in size from 1.5 pounds to 2.5 pounds and they cook them there for you but you pay wholesale instead of retail. Yum, yum, yum!! We left there and went to beautiful Peggy's Cove, where we were for about 45 minutes. Another must do! Upon leaving Peggy's Cove we returned to town where we stopped at Fairview Cemetery where 121 victims of the Titanic are buried. Once again David showed us what a historian he is as he explained so much of the site to us, he had several others following along with us listening to him as well. He also took us to the Halifax Citadel while on this tour. A very educational tour indeed. I highly recommend David with Van Tours of Nova Scotia.

Lighthouses of Maine Tour

This was reasonably priced when booking it together with the trolley tour at $38 per person for the combo. They sold more tickets then there appeared to be seats and my husband and I ended up standing up for the whole 90 minutes. It was cold and windy. We did enjoy the views of the lighthouses from the water and seeing some of the nearby islands we'd have otherwise not seen. Would we do it again? Maybe on a warmer day if we could be certain of getting a seat.

Trolley Tour

We had a wonderful driver/guide for our trolley tour. He seemed to know much about the area and seemed to enjoy his job. We got to see a lot of the area and spent about 20 minutes at Portland Head Light. The over all beauty of the surrounding area at Portland Head Light make it a must see. The day were were there it was quite busy and 20 minutes was not enough time to see everything and get to visit the gift shop. We had to skip the gift shop. We enjoyed the drive past some of the beautiful, older Victorian Homes in Portland. After our cruise we ate lunch at Portland Lobster Company. Hubby had twin one pound lobsters while I had the lobster roll. Oh so good!! Rather pricey in our opinion.

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